Thursday, November 10, 2016

“Joshi” are the Closest Girls to Happiness in Japan? The Girls Dreaming of a Happily Ever After!

Girls experience and learn things and become women. Or at least that’s how it used to be. Within the past 5 years or so, “Joshi” have probably become the most standard type of girl or woman.

What does “Joshi” mean?“Joshi” is a Japanese word used for young women who are either high-school or university students, in their teens to early 20s. In the ordinary course of things (or at least it was supposed to be?), an Onnanoko (girl) becomes a Joshi and then a Josei (woman).  But for some reason, this has been starting to change.

Manifestation of their desire to be young?The most familiar term to you TGU readers may be Joshi-kai, or a girls night out as we have been calling it as we have introduced many types of Joshikai on TGU.

Of course, Joshi-kai doesn’t have to be like the ones we have introduced. Just getting together with girlfriends and having dinner would be a Joshi-kai too. Joshi-kai was something only “young” girls or Joshi did (as you can tell from the name of it). But gatherings done by “not so young” girls (women?) have been started to be called Joshi-kai too. Whatever you call it, they’re doing the same thing so, who cares? That’s not the problem. Apparently, those who are against this “women having Joshi-kai” thing don’t like how grown-up women are calling themselves Joshi, without growing up and being self independent (not that they have anything against gathering with other female friends!).
Having a girls night out with your best friends every once in a while is great! It brings back memories, and you can forget all your troubles during those moments. But grown up Joshi aren’t like this. They think they are still Joshi even though they have grow up.
Analysis of JoshiThere have been many characteristics of Joshi listed, and of course they may be stereotypes but, interestingly, most girls somewhat understand these values and can’t deny that they do value them. And of course, there are girls or women that really believe these. From my experiences, a lot more girls in Japan really believe in this (percentage-wise) compared to other girls in foreign countries (or maybe this is an Asian thing?). Here are some things Joshi tend to believe, do, and look like.
Mote (being popular among men) is number one on the listMarriage is considered to be a woman’s dream come true, so everyone’s “searching” for their prince. Not just marriage but among female society, she would have a sense of superiority if she is popular. (More men to choose from!)
Wears clothes that are more popular among guys.Of course being fashionable is important but, at the same time, they choose clothes that men think is cute
Hair is Yuru-fuwaThe most basic hairstyle that makes a girl look cute and fluffy

Is a bit hyper, appeals through clumsinessThey do this because it is considered to be something that men think is cute
Perfect selfie techniquesOf course they know the exact angle and exact filter for them to look their best.
Acting stupid is the best thing to doBut of course there are girls that think this is stupid too
Going out with a guy that splits the check means defeat as a womanSome even say that a woman’s value depends on how much a man spends on her
Boyfriends job≒MeAnother factor that reflects a girl’s value. If you go out with a doctor, you’re as worthy as a doctor but, if you go out with the 3Bs (“the three types of men that lead a girl to unhappiness” Bandman, Bartender, Beautician), you’re only worthy enough as 3B.
Retirement as a new beginning means marriage and happily ever afterThey all want to get married ASAP

Types of JoshiThe story doesn’t end with just Joshi. There are different kinds of Joshi within their age brackets.
New members of society~30s
A grown up lady not womanThey want to be seen as a lady that knows good restaurants and cafes and has room to take in whatever comes before her.
Puts more emphasis on marriageSince marriage starts to become a reality, they are eager on the inside to get married. On the outside, they pretend they don’t care (but has a rich boyfriend and thinks she is better than the other girls)

University Students
Starbucks loverThey can’t live without Starbucks even though they can’t drink coffee. They tend to do everything at stylish cafes because they think its cool to be like that.
DisneyholicThey like Disneyland and Disney Sea. Most girls say they like it because “Me saying something cute is cute is cute”. They also tend to say “I want to be Cinderella” or “I want to be a Princess” and they mean it.
Profusely going out to museums and art galleriesThey go without having any knowledge at all and not really understanding what the exhibition is about. But the fact that they went somewhere that has some “artistic”, “cultural”, “historic” (or whatever) merit makes them seem intelligent, which is what matters the most.
They like to question modern society on SNSI understand everyone has opinions and has the right to say whatever they want to but, these girls pick up very broad and difficult questions and voice their opinions, saying that modern society is wrong and cruel and anything along those lines. Again, making them seem “smarter” and “different” from other girls. In the worst cases, if she experiences time abroad for even just a few weeks, she starts questioning Japan and saying that Japanese people are wrong and we should be more like Americans and so on. She says it as if she knew everything about the country she was in for merely a few weeks.
Suddenly becomes a poetThis satisfies their desire to do something different from others, showing that they have their own opinion, and have different sensibilities (she’s not one of “you” people). They tend to tweet along the lines “The sky is beautiful today.” with a picture with a vintage filter.
Desperate to fill in their schedule notebooksThe more the notebook is full, the more Riaju (a combination of the words “riaru” (real) and “juujitsu” (fulfilling), meaning someone with a good life grounded in reality) they are.

I want to emphasize that of course not every single girl agrees to this. But there are a majority of girls that fit into this type. If you look at it differently, they just want confidence in themselves as a female. They want to be seen as good and they want to be happy. I think everybody can understand some what of this. We can also definitely say that Joshi have contributed greatly in creating Japanese kawaii culture and should keep an eye on them in the future.

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